Category Archives: Uncategorized

No Corporate Tax Cuts in Illinois!

Do you believe that corporations should pay their fair share of taxes in Illinois?  Sign our petition.

“I stand with other Illinoisans against corporate tax breaks that continue to blow holes in the Illinois budget. These holes are filled with cuts to programs for seniors, people at risk of homelessness, disabled individuals, youth; and cuts in public safety and education. Each 1% decrease in the corporate tax rate costs the state at least $400 million each year!

I call on the state legislature to reject any corporate tax reform that does not bring in new revenues. Working individuals are paying our fair share, corporations need to do the same!”


1% Cut in Illinois Spending Equals 6,230 Jobs Lost

State budget cuts are costing both private and public jobs, according to a new report released today by Make Wall Street Pay Illinois and authored by the Alliance for a Just Society. The report, The Cost of Cuts in Illinois: Budget Cuts Hurt Families, Communities, and the Economy, finds that in Illinois, a 1 percent cut in general fund spending is associated with the loss of 6,230 jobs. The report finds evidence that budget cuts are causing overall job loss.

Although the Illinois General Assembly did raise corporate taxes in early 2011, they turned around and cut taxes on the CME Group and Sears before the year was out.  Illinois is still facing a major shortfall in revenue – a fact which many Illinois elected officials site when calling for budget cuts instead of addressing the state’s revenue crisis.  All indications are that there is a greater interest in Springfield in furthering corporate tax rollbacks rather than creating new revenue sources.

“Governor Pat Quinn emphasized the need to create jobs in the State of the State address, but if he and the legislature agree to budget cuts, it will undermine any effort to create jobs,” said Rev. Marilyn Pagan-Banks, of Northside P.O.W.E.R., a member organization of Make Wall Street Pay Illinois.

According to The Cost of Cuts, each year since the recession hit, Illinois has cut per capita general fund spending, despite increased need for public services. Across Illinois, these cuts have resulted in the loss of mental health services, homelessness prevention programs, and programs assisting youth who are homeless, to name a few impacts. This reduction in spending has caused a ripple effect throughout the economy. The report further finds that people of color have been hardest hit by job loss, as seen in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2010 unemployment figures. At 17.8 and 12.7, respectively, African Americans and Latinos in Illinois have significantly higher unemployment rates than whites, at 9.1, and the state average, at 10.2.

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is urging state lawmakers to reject all proposals to roll back corporate taxes, and in fact pass a comprehensive revenue package that closes loopholes, stops double dipping and raises revenue.  Lawmakers must pass legislation calling for simple and accessible disclosure of state taxes actually paid by corporations in Illinois.

“Like with the tax giveaways to Sears and CME, we keep hurting both our tax base and our jobs base in Illinois. Once and for all we must rid ourselves of this myth that tax breaks for the rich and big corporations create jobs,” said David Hatch, Executive Director of IIRON , a member of Make Wall Street Pay Illinois.

Statement from Make Wall Street Pay Illinois about the passage of SB 397 (CME/CBOE Corporate Welfare Bill)


 December 13, 2011

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is deeply disappointed in the State Senate’s action today and we call on Governor Pat Quinn to veto this fundamentally flawed piece of legislation.  SB 397 is a corporate welfare bill that sends Illinois’ budget and revenue priorities in the exact wrong direction.

To add insult to injury, CME Group and other large corporations demonstrated that they have the power to convene the entire state legislature.  The only reason the General Assembly met yesterday and today was to pass this tax break.  Do such massive corporate interests have more power than Speaker Mike Madigan, Senator John Cullerton or Governor Pat Quinn?  The laid-off teachers, fire-fighters and social service providers deserve urgent attention but cannot call the legislature when things did not go their way in the legislature.

The increase in Earned Income Tax Credit and other measures to help small businesses, while notable, were saccharine pills inserted into a raw deal of a package for working and poor families in our state.  While the General Assembly handed over $85 million in tax breaks to the 1%, it has provided $2.50 in average tax benefits per family to help the struggling 99%.

Many of CME and CBOE’s own actions in the middle of this debate are inexcusable.  CME’s CEO Terrence Duffy testified to the legislature that his company could not guarantee that they would stay in Illinois if they didn’t get the tax break within a few days of his testimony, but also claimed that he was not threatening anybody and that he was “not here for a handout.”  Meanwhile, employees in the Chicago Board of Trade building showered peaceful demonstrators at Occupy Chicago with McDonald’s job applications and held up “We are the 1%” signs.

Like many across the political spectrum, Make Wall Street Pay Illinois urges the General Assembly to take up the issue of corporate tax reform next spring.  As the economic crisis continues in our state, we need to ensure that everyone is paying their fair share and that our government is making ends meet.  These real and pressing needs – rather than the threats of a small number of corporations – should set the agenda for the General Assembly.

 Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is a collaboration of: Illinois Peoples Action, Illinois & Indiana Regional Organizing Network, Lakeview Action Coalition, Northside POWER, National People’s Action and Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL).

Statement from Make Wall Street Pay Illinois on CME Corporate Welfare Bill

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is encouraged that the General Assembly did not pass the bill that would have handed a massive tax break to just a few of the state’s largest financial corporations. The State of Illinois already cannot pay its own bills. Basic and essential services are being reduced or eliminated throughout the state, and care providers are being laid off. The State simply could not have blown another huge hole in its structural deficit by handing a massive tax break to the wealthiest 1% of our state, and to just a few of the largest financial speculation corporations that are partially responsible for crashing the economy in the first place.

The failure of this piece of corporate welfare opens up possibility for next year. Moving forward, Make Wall Street Pay Illinois calls on the General Assembly to take up the pressing issue of corporate tax reform. If we are serious about our structural budget deficit and making ends meet, we must make sure that the largest and most profitable financial corporations in the state pay their fair share of taxes.

The heat is on!

Thanks to your calls, Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie has expressed little or no support for the tax breaks for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) or the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and has gone on record wondering whether the CME Group deserves the tax break it wants.

Sources have told us that the State will be deciding on tax breaks for the CME and CBOE on November 29 at 10am, so we need your help now more than ever. Click on the link here to find your legislator by address or zip code, and tell them:

Vote NO on tax breaks for the CME and CBOE. 

Do they represent the 99%,
or Wall Street and the 1%? 

This vote will tell!

Let us know below that you called.

URGENT: Call Rep. Currie to stop corporate welfare in Illinois

Please call House Majority Leader
Representative Barbara Flynn Currie
TODAY at 773 667-0550

Tell her to kill SB 405,
in Springfield!

  Stop Wall Street from raiding the Illinois’ Treasury
And YOUR Tax dollars!

The Illinois General Assembly is about to give $120 million of your tax dollars to the financial speculators who crashed our economy!

To stop them, you must make the call! 

A proposed tax giveaway to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE)–Illinois’ Wall Street–is being proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Senate President John Cullerton and may be voted on by the Illinois General Assembly before Thursday, November 10!

 After raising taxes on Illinois working families last year, your legislators want to put those taxes directly in the pockets of the richest 1%, instead of funding schools, infrastructure and vital services for seniors and the disabled.

 The combined profit margin of these 2 corporations was higher than  any of America’s top 100 corporations over the past 3 years, and they enjoyed $450 million in profits in the first quarter of 2011 alone.

We’ve had enough of the 1% stealing from the 99%!
Whether its Wall Street or LaSalle Street, enough is enough!

Don’t forget to also sign the petition here to your legislators. There is also link to find contact info for your own senator and representative.

Statement from MWSPI on passage of SB 405 (CME/CBOE Tax Dodge Bill)


David Hatch, Illinois and Indiana Regional Organizing Network
Cell: 773-330-5684



Yesterday the Senate Executive Committee in Springfield passed SB 405, a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation that rewards just two large financial speculation institutions:  CME Group and CBOE Holdings.  At a time when the State of Illinois cannot pay its own bills, SB 405 would grant a massive tax dodge to only CME and CBOE, costing the state an estimated $120 million.

CME and CBOE are part of the speculation industry that caused the financial crisis and resulting recession.  The State of Illinois should be asking more of the largest and most profitable companies in our state – not less.  Ironically, the Executive Committee’s action came on the same day that CME’s own preview of its 3rd Quarter earnings show that it is a very wealthy and profitable company.  Why should it be the recipient of such corporate welfare?

We are especially surprised at the amount of time and effort that Senate President John Cullerton has put into deepening the State of Illinois’ fiscal crisis.  Rather than doing everything he can to at least stick his fingers into the hemorrhaging dyke of our fiscal affairs, Senator Cullerton has instead taken a sledgehammer to blow a $120 million hole in our budget.

Our elected officials may claim they are responding to CME’s threats to leave the state, yet yesterday’s action by our public servants symbolize corporate extortion at its worst.

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is a collaboration of: Illinois Peoples Action, Illinois & Indiana Regional Organizing Network, Lakeview Action Coalition, Northside POWER, National People’s Action and Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL).

We are the 99%!

Right now the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago want to give the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) tax breaks after they made billions of dollars in profits this quarter.

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is urging everyone who feels this isn’t right, and they feel big banks and big corporations need to pay their fair share of taxes NOW to sign our petition below.

Remember, WE ARE THE 99%!

A message from Make Wall Street Pay Illinois
and the citizens of Illinois:

To Governor Pat Quinn,
Senate President John Cullerton,
and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan:

You must vote NO on tax breaks
for the CME and CBOE!

To Mayor Rahm Emanuel:

You must publicly oppose these tax breaks!

In this moment Americans across our nation our rising up and saying, “NO MORE!” You cannot give another tax dodge to the 1%, the very ones that crashed our economy with their financial speculation!

No more to trickle down economics
No more to tax breaks for the rich and big corporations
No more bailouts and corporate welfare by working taxpayers
No more cuts to education and services for our most vulnerable citizens
No more to lack of job creation

One year ago Illinois families had our taxes raised to stave off draconian cuts to our state budget while the wealthy do not pay their fair share. Now the wealthiest 1% want to STEAL OUR TAXES AGAIN!

Whose side are YOU on?

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is keeping a score card and will let everyone in your district know how you vote on this, a clear test of allegiance:

Do you represent the 99%, or Wall Street and the 1%?
This vote will tell!  

Vote NO against tax breaks
for the CBOE and CME, Illinois’ Wall Street

If you need help contacting your state legislators, please click here to find them using your address:

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois holds Standard and Poor’s accountable

On Wednesday, Make Wall Street Pay Illinois activists attempted to meet with the Standard and Poor’s (S & P) Chicago office at 130 E. Randolph to ask them who holds them accountable. Earlier in the week, S & P downgraded the U.S.’ credit rating for the first time ever. S & P was the leading credit rating agency that gave toxic bonds and foreclosed mortgages the highest credit rating, leading to the collapse of the economy three years ago.

After S & P refused to speak to the group, activists held a mock trial in the lobby of building, unanimously ruling S & P should receive a Triple F rating (video posted below).

Progress Illinois, a political blog, covered the event, here:

Thanks, Progress Illinois!

LAC talks to Gapers Block about big business and community issues

On Tuesday, Curtis Smith, Board President of the Lakeview Action Council (LAC), a partner organization of Make Wall Street Pay Illinois, was interviewed by Gapers Block, a Chicago-centric blog. In the article, Smith was interviewed about the political effects big corporations now have on local community issues such as the lack of affordable housing and access to health care.

Before the 2008 recession, community groups like LAC organized themselves to advocate to the state government for the creation and preservation of vital social services. However, Smith highlights that at the same time, big banks and corporations organized themselves to lobby to the federal government to opt out of paying federal and local taxes, and used their financial resources to create political action councils (PACs) to raise funds to elect political candidates that endorse corporate agendas over community values.

This now organized business community has gained the ability to frame community issues in terms of needed cuts to balance the federal budget, passing the burden onto unemployed and underemployed Americans. “All these cuts have people associated with them. It’s not like you’re cutting widgets,” reported Smith. With this new bigger picture of how big business can affect local issues, LAC helped to form Make Wall Street Pay Illinois to hold big banks and corporations accountable to a community agenda.

The rest of the article interviews Annabel Park, founder of the Coffee Party movement in Washington, D.C., and examines the history of how the business community organized itself.

Thanks, Gapers Block!

Click here for more information on the Lakeview Action Coalition

Click here for the original article on Gapers Block